David S. D’Amato

David S. D’Amato (think@heartland.org) is an attorney, adjunct law professor at DePaul University in Chicago, and a policy advisor at the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

The Parties of Special Interests


Among the many questions that marked the 2016 election and its result, perhaps the one that dominated was how the U.S. government can best help American consumers, manufacturers, and workers. Merely to ask this question is to invite the artfully drawn entreaties of various pressure groups, well-positioned and -funded, all in search of special treatment. […]

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Is Economics a Hard Science?


The disciplines we call the “hard sciences” such as chemistry and physics inhabit the cold, sterile world of laboratories, uncontaminated by a boundless assortment of potential impurities. Today, economics pretends to be one of the hard sciences, yet the laboratories provided by the real world are disorderly, even chaotic, insusceptible to sanitization and control. The […]

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Political Ignorance and the Need for Federalism


It may be hard for many Americans to hear, but politics has most likely blinded them, obscuring their view of significant facts and all but blacking out the portion of their brains devoted to critical thinking. As law professor Ilya Somin points out in his book Democracy and Political Ignorance, studies consistently show people systematically […]

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Property Rights: The Root of Freedom


Summarizing The Commonwealth of Oceana, James Harrington’s controversial mid-17th century work of political theory, Daniel Webster wrote that “power naturally and necessarily follows property.” A free society, Harrington argued, requires that property may be owned and alienated by all citizens, and accordingly, that property ownership be not confined either to one “sole landlord” or a […]

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In Praise of Complex Financial Markets


The ongoing presidential race has occasioned an impassioned, if not exactly enlightened, consideration of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis, nearly all of it based on misinformation, fallacy, and unfocused populist outrage. While much of that outrage is quite justified, the arguments and charges through which it usually expresses itself reflect a deep misunderstanding […]

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